As prominent schemes such as High Speed 2, the proposed Heathrow Airport expansion, and Hinckley Point make headline news, the role of compulsory purchase is gaining more media coverage. It is therefore important for affected land and property owners to obtain specialist advice in this complex area and selecting the most appropriate advisor is of paramount importance.
High Speed 2 in particular is, and will continue for the next 10-15 years, to generate a huge volume of work for surveyors and therefore an increasing number of surveyors are becoming involved in this area of work. For a property owner affected by either High Speed 2 or any other Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), it is critical that they have confidence in the professional appointed to advise them.
The following tips are provided to ensure you appoint the most appropriate surveyor to provide advice:
- Ensure your advisor has full knowledge of the compulsory purchase process
A compulsory purchase surveyor should be able to provide you with an overview of the process involved including likely timescales and potential complexities.The advisor will want to gain a complete picture of the claimants circumstances to as to be able to provide the appropriate advice.This will include whether you have received any scheme specific information or offer to date and they may ask what contact you have had with the acquiring authority.
In addition, an advisor should be able to summarise the different heads of claim which you are entitled to make, advising what is and what is not claimable.
- A proven track record
If you are instructing a plumber to install a new boiler, you want the confidence that they have the appropriate experience and qualifications. The same applies to appointing a compulsory purchase surveyor.
Ask the surveyor about their previous experience, what types of claims they have dealt with and where. Professionals are often asked to demonstrate that they have the experience required before being appointed therefore they will be unfazed by this question. It is entirely reasonable for a claimant to seek the assurance that their prospective surveyor has the expertise and experience to provide the best possible advice.
- Quality of advice and how it is presented
If you have no prior knowledge of compulsory purchase, it can be difficult to assess the quality of advice being received however it is important that you have confidence in the professional appointed.Compulsory purchase can involve a significant amount of jargon and legal terminology but it is important that your advisor can communicate this to you in plain English and you feel comfortable asking for clarification if required.
Various issues may arise which require the input from other professionals such as accountants, planners and lawyers.It is important for your advisor to recognise when other professional input is required and be able to bring together a multi-disciplinary team.
- Strategic Advice
Different strategies can be employed in order to assist with negotiations and ensure the best possible outcome for the client.The duty to mitigate ones loss is also of fundamental importance in compulsory purchase and your advisor should make you aware of this at the outset.There may be various different scenarios which could occur depending upon what stage the scheme has reached.Your surveyor should be able to advise you as to how to best protect your position and progress negotiations.
Chartered surveyors are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which assures competence across all areas of surveying practice by embodying best practice thus providing confidence to consumers.In addition to being a member of the RICS, a large number of compulsory purchase surveyors are members of the Compulsory Purchase Association (CPA).The organisation promotes best practice for all those who are involved in this complex area.Membership of the CPA should therefore provide additional comfort that your surveyor has the expertise required to advise you.